Kath is a longtime presenter (having done presentation for the United Way, the LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and Guide Dogs for the Blind) as well as a longtime college professor. She is an engaging and high energy speaker who offers interactive, audience-aware presentations on a host of topics related to her debut novel WIDER THAN THE SKY as well as on writing and becoming a conscious writer. Her speaker fee is sliding scale dependent on school funding and need. Scroll for specialized topics. She presents to grades 5-12.
In WIDER THAN THE SKY, sisters Sabine and Blythe find out that their "real" family is more complicated, and more wonderful than they realized. Speaking from experience and from research, Kath engages with the question: what makes a family? Oriented toward coping skills as teens come to an awareness of the various differences in family structure (adoption, loss, culturally mixed families, LGBTQIA families) and toward a stance of openness toward families of all types, this presentation offers a series of steps for students to take in their thinking and reflection about their own families. The presentation includes a writing component that ties into the common core Literacy 9-10.3 (write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences) and assists students to explore their own family structure and its strengths, differences, and beauty.
LOSS AND GRIEF (AND SUICIDE)
In WIDER THAN THE SKY, sisters Sabine and Blythe lose their father very unexpectedly and for reasons that are kept secret. Drawing on her own experience of familial loss very early in life, Kath offers several creative, writing and art-oriented pathways to coping with grief. Using writing prompts developed to ease the transition of loss--from the loss of a pet or a friend to a changed school to the loss of a friend due to violence--Kath opens the door to an interior conversation (metacognition) about loss, and the ways it changes us, especially as young people. Engaging with the Core Curriculum
Literacy 9-10.3D (use precise words and phrases, telling details, and sensory language to convey a vivid picture of the experiences, events, setting, and/or characters) she guides students through a series of reflective exercises that can be further scaffolded in the classroom, and referred to in subsequent projects and class readings.